Bringing home a new dog is a big event. Among the most critical items are food, bowls for food and water, collar and a leash. You’ll also want several safe chew toys, as well as supplies to clean and to clean up after your shepherd. And, of course, there’s the crate and all the supplies that go with this purchase.
Food and Bowls
Ask your breeder what dry food your puppy has been eating. It is a good idea to keep him on the same diet. Introducing him to new food can cause gastrointestinal problems. In the near future if you wish to change you can do so by using a 1 to 3 ratio. One being the new food and 3 the old. Slowly increase the portions of new food with each meal until you are 100 percent switched over. The stool is the best guide as to determine if you are giving the right amounts. When it comes to choosing food and water bowls for your new shepherd, keep in mind that puppies and some adults carry there bowl around. Plastic bowls are inexpensive, but they are easily tipped and destroyed. Ceramic bowls are heavy to be stable, but they break easily. Stainless steel are easy to clean and very durable.
The first thing is to measure your puppy’s neck, making sure that you allow room for comfort without making it too loose. Next, you must decide what kind collar to purchase. A young puppy will grow through several sizes before he reaches maturity.
An adjustable collar can last longer as your puppy grows, but it is a little more dangerous.
When the collar is at its tightest adjustment, leaves a significant amount of collar to be tucked, forming a loop. An active puppy can get this loop hung up on his crate or outside fence. One of the best collars that i like is made of chain link, where each link is long in shape. This collar allows your dogs hair to grow through the link and not get all matted.
This is a very common problem with leather collars that are left on.
Leashes come in various thicknesses, lengths, and materials. A puppy should have a lightweight leash. Do not buy the biggest, longest, thickest leash available. As your puppy grows you can increase the weight of the leash accordingly. Leather leashes are more expensive, although they are more durable. Flexi leads are popular and work well although they too can be dangerous. The nylon leash can cause rope burn as the leash extends as the dog pulls. You have to be well aware of what is around you because that leash once it’s extended out can easily get wrapped around an object and cause damage. I do not want to scare you from using the flexi because used properly it is a very effective training device.
Spoil your puppy with chew toys…Keep introducing new toys with each training session. The element of surprise keeps him happy and entertained at the same time. One day you might bring out the kong ball. The next session you will put the kong away and introduce a rawhide bone. Figure out which toy he really goes crazy for. Once you figured this out you can then use that to your advantage in your training sessions. Train your puppy with motivation. The faster the puppy sits….the faster he gets his reward(toy). The toys you select should be safe. Puppies and adults have strong bites and can break or tear a rubber toy into chunks and cause a choking hazard. I recommend the kong ball as far as durability and likeability.
Cleaning and Supplies
Many shepherds have very sensitive skin and or allergies. You may need to buy a medicated shampoo. Make sure you use a tear free shampoo that is specifically for dogs. His first day should be fun and not traumatic as a bath might be a little scary. Save it for a day in the near future once he is more comfortable.
Thinking of house training your puppy? Be prepared for a few accidents. Paper towels, carpet cleaners/stain removers are a few things you should have on hand.
Purchasing a crate
In the last few years, the crate and carrier market has expanded greatly. From side loading metal wire crates to pop up tent like to partitioned kennels. Wire crates are great. They allow your puppy to see what is going on. It also provides great air circulation. The Hard shell carrier works well also. It comes in two pieces top and bottom, it is easily assembled. The downfall of these crates is that the teething shepherd likes to chew. He can do a number on the plastic. It is also harder to clean the plastic. I recommend the wire crate.